In July through August of 2003 and 2006, Dr. Britt Bousman, Abby Weinstein, Holly Meier, and Eric Oksanen excavated the site of Baden-Baden in South Africa. The project was funded by the Leakey Foundation and Texas State University-San Marcos, and the investigation was performed in collaboration with Drs. James Brink, Director of Florisbad Quaternary Research Department at the National Museum, and Louis Scott, a palynologist at the University of the Free State, both in Bloemfontein.
Baden-Baden is a spring mound formed at a series of mineral springs. Before the Boer War, a metal bath house occupied the area. Artifacts were seen around the edge of the mound. Detailed mapping has shown that the mound is actually a series of mounds, ranging in size, that have coalesced. Excavation units were placed in a number of locations at the base of the mound. The main block of excavations exposed well-stratified sandy deposits and a circular spring eye.
In the main block excavations, artifacts and poorly preserved bones were recovered, including a warthog tooth and a bored stone. In an adjacent excavation unit, archaeologists discovered a bone concentration believed to be a kill-butchery site. James Brink's analysis demonstrates that the South African and Kalahari springbok species are present in addition to black wildebeest. Phalanges were split lengthwise to extract marrow.
Pictured above: crew member screening sediment during excavations at Baden-Baden.